1. Published

    Shopping at thrift stores can be one of the most fun and rewarding ways to go shopping while on a budget.  If you are in need of a new wardrobe, but also want to save money, thrift shopping is just what you need.  Some popular places in the Champaign-Urbana area to go thrift shopping are the Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Salt & Light.  The best way to make thrifting fun is to bring a couple of friends along with you.  An extra perk of bringing friends is having a second opinion when determining what clothing looks best.

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    As a recent graduate from college, you may be excited to embark on your career and gain new experiences. However, as you reach this new chapter in your life you will have to start thinking about paying off your student loans, if you have any, and make life decisions such as deciding how much to contribute towards your retirement. Some people might think that they first need to pay off their student loans before they can start saving for the future.

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    College students know that when living on your own, there are a lot of necessities that come along with it. Some add up to be quite a lot of money that students do not have. Grocery shopping every week is something that many students struggle with when fitting things into their budget.

    Quick tips on how to save money:

    Apps:

  4. Published

    Do you often find yourself eating at a restaurant or buying fast food because you do not have the time or effort to cook a meal yourself? Do you see yourself running out of the food that you had just made to only last for a couple of days? Well, there is a method of preparing food that is both convenient and can save you money too and it is called meal prepping.

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    Having a car on campus is convenient, but it also comes with a lot of costs. Parking meters seem cheap, but when you look at how much you’ve spent over the past month, your jaw drops. Gas prices are decent but getting gas once a week builds up as well. And there’s also what seems like the inevitable monthly parking fee that your apartment company charges you. Here are some ideas to help you save some money while enjoying the convenience of driving on campus.

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    Do you have experience buying stuff you seldom use, purchasing clothes not suitable for you, and consuming more than you need? Impulsive shopping makes people waste money for temporary joy and sometimes takes people into a personal financial crisis. Reasons for impulsive shopping vary. Understanding the reasons and knowing how to deal with them can help you protect yourselves from ruining your financial wellbeing and go shopping more rationally. The following are the reasons I hear, or I’ve used to justify impulsive spending. Or something like that!

  7. Published

    There comes a time when everyone needs to go shopping for new clothes.  While this can be a fun process, it can usually get really expensive.  Before you go shopping there are some useful tips you should use to make sure you are spending your money wisely.

    When preparing to go shopping, it is important to take a look at your closet, so you know what you already have and what you need to look for.  This will keep you from buying something you already have. 

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    Store brands have evolved over the years in both popularity and appeal. Today, grocery stores known for solely selling store brands, such as Aldi, have boosted in popularity as many consumers have started to purchase store brands weekly.  In fact, several big box stores, like Walmart and Target, even have their own store brand alternatives that they offer on a diverse amount of goods. Not only are store brands cheaper than name brand items, they also are made with essentially the same ingredients and often provide the same nutrition, just for a cheaper price.

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    Having a car on campus can be a convenient way of getting around. If you’re living in an apartment, it must be a struggle taking a bus to do grocery shopping. Getting to the grocery store is one thing but carrying multiple bags of food on the bus back to your apartment might require some work. Or even worse, having to walk to the store and back on a Sunday, when the bus system isn’t even running until late afternoon. We’ve all been there. And you’re probably debating whether you should bring your car to campus just to make your life easier.

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    Welcome to our new blog, Be Centsible -- written by college students, for college students. Be Centsible features answers to personal finance questions. Our goal? To provide practical, unbiased, research-based strategies that will help you stretch your dollars, explore your money-related values, and build your financial capacity.

    All blog posts are peer-reviewed as well as reviewed by Illinois Extension educators and staff.